Peace with the Palestinians “may take decades” and involve “exchanges of populated territory”, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann told the UN General Assembly 28 September. His remarks came as Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is engaging Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in peace talks. They have committed to signing a peace deal within a year.
Lieberman is leader of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu, a member of the ruling coalition government led by Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s office issued a statement distancing him from Lieberman’s statements, saying that “the contents of the foreign minister’s speech at the UN were not coordinated with the prime minister,” it said. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the one heading the political negotiations on behalf of the state of Israel.”